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My National

Wealthy more likely to spend on charity and family than luxury goods, new study reveals

  |  July 21, 2013

Courtesy Visa
Courtesy Visa

Affluent UAE residents have long been portrayed as being obsessed with spending on luxury. However, according to a new study,  there is a more giving side to the well-heeled as well.

Rather than splurging on luxury goods and expensive cars, the UAE’s big hitters say donations to charity and family holidays are the most important elements in a top five list of future discretionary spends.

These were followed by a luxury weekend holiday, dinner at a fine dining restaurant and a night out. This was according to the Visa Affluent Study 2013, which surveyed almost 5,000 wealthy credit card holders in 10 global markets across Asia Pacific and the Middle East, including the UAE.

The study also examined the preferred hobbies of the UAE’s rich with over half voting travel as their most popular pastime;  cars came in at a close second at 44 per cent and charity lay in third position at 34 per cent.

The poll highlighted credit cards as the favoured method of payment for big spenders in the Emirates. And half of those surveyed regularly shop online with their cards, spending an average Dh2,749 a month.

In another interesting figure from the report, saving for those big ticket items also ranks highly for the UAE’s well-off.  Seven in ten of those polled save an average Dh8,805 a month to ensure they have enough ready cash for those discretionary spends.